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Mock Drafts



Perusing the various mock drafts, I noticed that most every one had the Avalanche drafting a different player in the first round (the pick is number 17 though some have the Avs picking 19 due to the date of the mock draft) so I thought it would be interesting to compare the potential picks. So without further ado...



The Hockey Writers have the Avs picking up Dylan McIlrath in the first round. McIlrath played 118 games with Moose Jaw in the WHL, racking up 8 goals, 20 assists and an impressive 271 penalty minutes. At 18 he is already very big at 6'4'' and 212 pounds. Scouts state the obvious in that he is scary and tough to play against but also discuss his untapped potential on the offensive side of the game. Personally, that doesn't matter much to me as the Avs have a ton of dmen with offensive upside but no huge, shutdown defensemen like McIlrath. I think there is a solid chance of the Avs picking him up if he is still available. The only problem is that plenty of mock drafts have McIIrath going to Anaheim a pick before Colorado's. If he is still available the Avs need to snatch him up without a second thought.



In what they call "another steal for Colorado" the Western Conference Scouts have Colorado taking John McFarland in the first round. McFarland was drafted first overall into the OHL and has racked up 41 goals and 102 points in 122 games with Sudbury. McFarland is described as high skill and high speed but with a bit of an edge to his game, similar to Brenden Morrow. The Avs have a lack of depth at left wing right now so McFarland could be a solid pick up depending on who is still left when the Avs step up to the podium.



The Eastern Conference Scouts have the Avs taking Austin Watson in the first round. He has put up 30 goals and 83 points in 115 games with Windsor and Peterborough in the OHL. Watson is big at 6'3" and had a reputation as a penalty kill specialist. A big, defensively responsible left wing certainly wouldn't be bad for the Avalanche but I can't help but think that there will be other players still available who would be better choices.



Brad Holland has the Avs taking Vladimir Tarasenko in the first round. The Russian has scored 20 goals and 34 points in 80 games playing with the big boys in the KHL on Novosibirsk. Scouts say he is an all around offensive talent being both a sniper and an excellent passer. Just like most teams the Avs could use another goal scorer but Tarasenko seems like a needless risk since he could always just keep playing in the KHL. If the Avs go after a forward, a player like McFarland seems like a better choice.



Mike Morreale had the Avs taking Jonathon Merill in the first round. Merrill has played 46 games in the USHL, tallying 3 goals and 12 points. He is big a 6'3" and supposedly a decent passer, physical and has a hard left-handed shot. He sounds like a solid pick if McIlrath isn't available but he is also likely the farthest away of any from being NHL ready. Plus, his favorite team is the Detroit Red Wings...



Adam Kimelman has the Avs drafting Jeff Skinner in the first round of this draft. In just 127 games with Kitchener in the OHL, Skinner put up 77 goals and 141 points and impressively scored 20 goals in 20 playoff games. The main knock against him is his size at 5'10" but he makes up for it playing hard and having a sick shot. I typically preach against getting smaller but if the Avs decide not to make a run at Kovalchuk then they could use a sniper like Skinner.

Personally, like most of you, I like McIlrath the best out of these prospects and both Skinner and McFarland appeal to me, as well. However, in the unlikely event that U.S. goaltender Jack Campbell is still available then the Avs should take him over anyone, even McIlrath, because the goaltending depth on the Avs is sorely lacking. So, who do you want the Avs to pick?